Classic Monster Magazines
Do-It-Yourself Monster Make-Up Handbook by Dick Smith (Warren Publishing, 1965)
It doesn’t get anymore classic than this!
Monster Kids were way ahead of trend and were into DIY before Pinterest was even a glimmer in the internet’s eye. Inspired by their favorite monster movies and made aware of the master artists and creators behind these movies thanks to Famous Monsters of Filmland, Monster Kids of the 1960s were making their own Super-8 monster movies complete with homegrown monsters.
Always aware of their audience, Jim Warren engaged future -Oscar-winning make-up artist Dick Smith’s to publish this one-shot “how-to” magazine. To use a rather obvious metaphor, it was like pouring gasoline on a campfire. One of the definitive magazines of Monster Kid-dom, this Handbook included 100 pages of photo illustrated guides providing Monster Kids step-by-step instructions for making monsters.
In classic Famous Monsters’ style, the cover by Vic Preslo wasn’t shy in selling the awesomeness inside. In this case, it wasn’t an over promise!
How to have fun creating your own monster make-up
Over 250 Exciting Pictures
With Simple Easy-to-Follow Instructions
by Famous Make-Up Artist Dick Smith
The mag was reissued as a paperback by Imagine Inc. in 1985 and can be found on Amazon:
Dick Smith’s Do-it-Yourself Monster Make-up Handbook
As you’ll see in the following pictorial tour, the book progresses from the relatively simple Vampire and Ghoul #1 to the movie-worthy Quasimodo, Mr. Hyde and ‘New” Frankenstein Monster. Enjoy the tour:
I found a copy of this magazine at a newsstand in the mid-70s that was used but in good condition. I scoured the magazine repeatedly, drawing the images and practicing the make-up on my younger siblings. Here’s a shot of my younger brother with the Split Face make-up I did for Halloween – not too bad, if I say so myself! (The teeth have been wiped away because he’s been eating candy!)
This magazine is fairly easy to find – though finding a really high grade copy requires a bit of patience. Reader copies are frequently available in the $15 range and recent and copies in VG condition have recently sold on eBay for $45. While prices range rather dramatically on this magazine in high grades, VF/NM copies can be found in the $55-$75 range. Pretty nice appreciation for a with a cover price $.60 back in 1965. With patience, you can get a collectible copy – and you SHOULD own this book if you’re a collector or a 60s Monster Kid. At minimum, I’d recommend a reader copy of this magazine as well – its just so much fun to read!
Follow this link to see current copies available on eBay